A Little Progress
A quick post to update you on various things.
My mother was discharged from the cardio ward in Shrewsbury three weeks ago, and transferred to Ludlow Community Hospital. She is likely to be staying there for some time yet. This makes visiting much easier for my father, and it’s a friendly atmosphere for her. So I am back to making twice-weekly visits on a country bus service which detours from the A49 through various towns and villages on the way. Stitching on the bus makes the long journey seem shorter, but the work needs to be fairly sturdy and shockproof. (Otherwise I spend too much time unpicking my progress when I get home.) My stitched boxes are ideal for travelling as the sections are easy to carry about and easy to see. I finished this one on the way back from Ludlow on Saturday.
It’s a design I’ve used several times before, with minor variations and with various colour schemes, and it is one of my favourites. The thread is acrylic DK knitting yarn for with Twilley’s Goldfingering for the glitter, and it’s worked on 10-mesh plastic canvas.
Here’s a work that’s still in progress:
I’m currently working on a little rococo stitch pincushion top (probably a pincushion, it might be used for a needlecase or sachet instead). This is very portable, small enough for my handbag, but too intricate for stitching while on bus journeys. The fabric is not evenweave, I’m not sure of the fabric content but I suspect it is a polyester, or polyester-cotton, rather than linen. It’s rather pleasant to work on, whatever it is. It’s a open-weave fabric with a count of 33×38 – an oddment from a curtain and upholstery shop. That lack of evenness makes it ideal for old sampler designs like this, which look very much livlier when the warp and weft count are not the same. I’m using machine embroidery rayon 40 for this, with the two roving strands in the twist separated and used together. (In many cases I’ve used one strand each from two different colours to make a blend.) Not the easiest of threads to work with, split like this, but it gives much better coverage on the rococo stitch than the thread used just as it comes from the spool. Here’s a chart for the heartsease flower, which is based on a motif on a spot sampler in the V&A museum.
Talking of museums, Shrewsbury Museum service are still trying to find out more about the ownership of the Bowdler Picture before contacting the V&A. They’ve discovered that it came to them a few years ago, but whether it was a donation or a loan or just left with them for an expert opinion is still unknown. Investigations continue… My next major article on the blog will be a piece about some other objects from the museum collection – some old boots – and the story behind them.
Back on the embroidery front. I’ve got another long term project using chain stitch in silk thread on linen, based on a 16th century book illustration. It’s not portable enough for bus trips, hospital visits or wet lunchbreaks, so it’s growing very slowly at present. I’ll write more about it later, when the stitching is a bit further forward, but here’s a quick glipse of one of the figures to pique your curiosity. This chap looks as though he’s rather surprised to see me using something other than rayon thread or acrylic knitting yarn!
Thanks for the very positive responses to my trellis stitch pages. Do let me know if there’s some other embroidery technique or stitch that you’d like me to tackle in depth for you. I enjoy a challenge!